Lin and Lee set up dream semifinal-clash at Badminton Asia Championships
Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia returns the shuttlecock during the men’s singles quarterfinal match against Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao at the Badminton Asia Championships 2017 in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, on April 28, 2017. Lee advanced to the semifinal with 2-0. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)
WUHAN, April 28 — Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei sailed past quarterfinals respectively to set up a semifinal-clash at the Badminton Asia Championships here on Friday, gifting fans the salivating prospect of another chapter in their epic rivalry.
Host favorite Lin had few problems against Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen, 21-14, 21-12, while defending champion Lee was similarly dismissive Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao, 21-18, 21-13.
Earlier this month, this pair met in the final of Malaysia Open, where Lin breezed past Lee in straight sets to claim his first title in Malaysia. This time, within one month, Lin and Lee will face each other again.
“We met several times recently, if we continued to play in Singapore after Malaysia Open, maybe we will meet again. I think (in next match) it is important to keep physically fit,” said Lin.
Lee said he cherished each match against Lin, because with the time passing by, the match between them will not be so many. “Not only Lin and me, I believe all the fans and media around the world will focus on our rivalry. I will make full preparation for tomorrow’s match.”
Lee pointed out the reason he and Lin met so frequently on the court is because they kept good form recently. “If one of us lost earlier, we can’t meet in the semifinals or final.”
Olympic gold medalist Chen Long also entered men’s singles top four with an easy victory over NG Ka Long Angus from Hong Kong, China 21-17, 21-13. The second seed’s next opponent will be teammate Shi Yuqi.
In women’s singles, Tai Tzu Ying from Chinese Taipei met little resistance to defeat China’s Chen Yufei 21-11, 21-7. The world No.1 will take on South Korea’s Jang Mi Lee in the semifinals, who overcame Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol 21-16, 21-18.
China’s promising shuttler He Bingjiao held firm in a tense finish to prevail over India’s fourth seed Pusarla V. Sindhu 15-21, 21-14, 24-22. The only women’s singles player from team China will face Japan’s second seed Akane Yamaguchi.
Olympic champion Zhan Nan had a fever before Friday’s match, conceded walkover in both men’s doubles (with Fu Haifeng) and mixed doubles (with Li Yinhui).
In men’s doubles, China’ s Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen, Huang Kaixiang/Wang Yilyu, Chai Biao/Hong Wei, and Japan’s Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda moved into semifinals.
Malaysia’s women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei’s memorable run was stopped by Japan’s top seed Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi 21-16, 21-10. China’s Huang Dongping/Li Yinhui and South Korea’s Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee, Kim Hye Rin/Yoo Hae Won also progressed.
In mixed doubles, China’s Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping and Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong, Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Lee Chun Hei Reginald/Chau Hoi Wah from Hong Kong, China made the semifinals.